Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Can you sign this letter and/or join us in the Towson office of Rep. Sarbanes on January 16

Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore/Fund Our Communities, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218

Rep. John Sarbanes

600 Baltimore Ave.

Suite 303

Baltimore, MD 21204

Re: Prosperity Not Austerity

January 16, 2012

Dear Congressperson Sarbanes:

Members of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore are voters, and part of a national coalition for Prosperity not Austerity. We're asking you to promote economic growth, preserve essential programs, and help lower the national debt by supporting four basic principles:

First, no more "hostage taking" re: the Debt Ceiling. President Obama is right to refuse to negotiate over paying the nation's bills. The debt ceiling has been raised dozens of times in the past, including 18 times by Ronald Reagan. You should support a clean increase of the debt ceiling.

Second, we insist that our members of Congress resolve to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits by refusing to vote for any deal that weakens these programs. Medicare provides health care for 40 million American seniors and more than 8 million Americans with disabilities at a fraction of the cost of private insurance. Social Security adds nothing to the deficit or debt. Medicare provides life-giving care to millions of Americans, supports teaching hospital and other essential services. Cutting benefits and raising the retirement age would shift costs onto our seniors and increase costs on our society by over $11 trillion. We firmly oppose devastating families under the guise of deficit reduction.

Third, we demand a balanced approach in budget policies. The social safety net and the public sector suffered deep cuts during past negotiations. Any additional debt or deficit reduction must come from new revenue, and deep cuts to Pentagon and other waste--not public sector programs that support the elderly, the poor, working families or the middle class. With over $1.7 trillion already cut from programs for American families and less than half of that amount in new revenue, we need a more balanced, effective approach. We could save over $110 billion just by eliminating wasteful subsidies to oil and gas companies. The Inclusive Prosperity Act would raise hundreds of billions dollars by taxing Wall Street speculation. Allowing negotiation of drug prices under Medicare Part D would save more than $150 billion. You should support these policies; join the six members of the Fourth, we have a jobs crisis, not a deficit crisis. You should support prospective legislation to make federal investments in direct job creation.

Fourth, we have a jobs crisis, not a deficit crisis. You should support prospective legislation to make federal investments in direct job creation.

Finally, we are seeking an end to the use of killer drone strikes, which we believe to be illegal and unconstitutional. Would you be willing to speak out in Congress against the use of drones which are killing civilians in at least five countries—Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen?

We look forward to your response. And when you are ready, we would like to meet with you, preferably in Baltimore. But if necessary, we will travel to your D.C. office. Thank you for your time and attention.


Max Obuszewski, on behalf of Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore/Fund Our Communities

325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 410-366-1637



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